Tropical forests conversion to agriculture has increased in recent years, though often followed by land abandonment and subsequent conversion to secondary forest. In this study, we evaluated the effect of disturbance on Nymphalid butterfly assemblages in an area of mountain foothill forests in Bolivia by comparing the butterfly diversity and species composition among primary forests, secondary forests and cacao crops. Data were obtained in two seasons, dry and dry-to-wet transition, using two sampling methods (bait traps and hand net). Species richness and butterfly abundance were higher in the understory of primary forests than in crops during the transition season. The sampling method can influence the detection of community variation: With traps, we only detected seasonal variation, while we registered higher abundance in both types of forests than crops with manual sampling, with higher heterogeneity in the understory of primary forests than in crops. There was also a difference in butterfly species composition between crops and both types of forest. Although some understory butterflies are capable of inhabiting disturbed sites, we should highlight the importance of primary forest for the maintenance of specific species and groups that could be lost if the disturbance dynamics intensify. Finally, long-term studies are necessary to understand species dynamics in the area, both their seasonality and the interrelationship with available resources in each type of habitat.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diversity of diurnal butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in forests and cacao crops in an Amazonian-foothill forest in Bolivia|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - Aug 2021|
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